Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Wan

WAN 萬, d. 1582, known as Wang T'ai 王台, self-styled Han (Khan) of the Hada kingdom, was a member of the powerful Nara clan and a descendant of Nacibulu (for this and the next name see under Bujantai), beile of the Ula tribe. His grandfather, Kesina (according to some sources, Suhete), was appointed a tu-tu 都督 by the Ming government in the first part of the sixteenth century. One of Kesina's sons, Wangji wailan 旺濟外蘭 (also known as Wang Chung 王忠), uncle of Wan, moved away from the Ula territory along the Sungari river and became chieftain of a group living at Hada ("cliff city") east of K'ai-yüan. He cooperated with the Chinese authorities and earned their gratitude by his capture of a Yehe brigand, Cukungge (see under Yangginu). On his death his nephew, Wan, succeeded to his position. He proved himself a capable leader who extended his authority until it embraced the Hoifa, Ula and Yehe tribes which comprised the Hûlun nation, and gained in addition some territory to the southeast. He gave to Hada the designation of a kingdom and bestowed upon himself the title of 'Han', the Manchu form of the Mongol 'Khan'. One of the daughters of Cukungge became his concubine, and he built houses for himself and tilled the ground, contrary to the practice prevailing among the other nomad tribes. His relations with the Chinese were friendly, and trade, under the usual name of "tribute", was carried on through markets at the Kuang-shun Pass (廣順關) which became known as the South Pass. In 1573 he was forced to make a matrimonial alliance with the Mongols west of K'ai-yüan, but he retained the favor of the Chinese by capturing Wang Kao (see under Nurhaci), chieftain of a Chien-chou tribe, who had frequently combined with the Mongols to harass the Liaotung frontier.

Wan's decline was hastened by the tyrannical behavior of his eldest son, Hûrhan 扈爾干, which alienated many of his allies. Yangginu [q. v.], beile of the Yehe, who had long been awaiting an opportunity to avenge the murder of his father, Cukungge, took advantage of the situation to secure the secession of both the Ula and Yehe tribes. Wan died in 1582 brokenhearted, it is said, over his failure to hold the Hûlun nation together. After Wan's death Hûrhan and an illegitimate brother, Kanggûru 康古魯, engaged in a dispute over the remnants of the kingdom. The latter was defeated and forced to take refuge with the Yehe. Hûrhan soon died and was succeeded in the position of tu-tu by a younger brother, Menggebulu 孟格布祿. Upon his return from exile Kanggûru married his father's former concubine, the aforementioned daughter of Cukungge, sister of Yangginu, and mother of Menggebulu, and claimed a share in the inheritance. The patrimony of Hûrhan was finally divided—his son, Daišan 岱善, and the half-brothers Kanggûru and Menggebulu receiving equal shares. The Chinese continued to support the Hada tribe against the Yehe, and in 1584 Li Ch'êng-liang [q. v.] defeated and killed the implacable enemies of the Hada: Yangginu and his brother, Cinggiyanu (see under Yangginu). At this time Nurhaci [q. v.] was beginning to attract attention in the southeast. Before Yangginu died Nurhaci formed a matrimonial connection with the Yehe, but to offset this Daišan in 1588 gave Nurhaci a sister for wife in accordance with plans made by his father, Hûrhan. In this same year Menggebulu, having suffered repeated attacks from the Yehe, surrendered to them and joined himself to Narimbulu [q. v.], sort of the late Yangginu. With their help and in cooperation with his half-brother and step-father, Kangguru, he attacked Daišan, but the war was brought to an end by Chinese interference and a peaceful settlement was forced on all the contestants.

In 1593 the four Hûlun tribes combined against the growing power of Nurhaci. However, the battles fought at Fulgiyaci in July and at Gure in October resulted in the defeat of the coalition, and four years later a treaty of peace was signed. The Hada tribe, located between Nurhaci's territory and that of the Yehe, had the most direct interest in maintaining peace. Attacked by the Yehe in 1599, Menggebulu sent hostages to Nurhaci, requesting his aid. This threw the Yehe for the first time into an alliance with the Chinese, an alliance that was maintained for twenty years. As Menggebulu gave signs of reverting also to the protection of the Chinese, Nurhaci attacked him and put him to death. Menggebulu's son, Ulhûda 吳爾古代, was left for a while in nominal power and even given a daughter from Nurhaci's own family for wife, but in 1601 the men of the tribe were incorporated into the Manchu Banner organization, and the Hada "kingdom" founded by Wan came to an end.


[1/229/1a; Hauer, K'ai-kuo fang-lüeh, pp. 7, 23–28, 32; Pa-ch'i Man-chou shih-isu t'ung-p'u (see under Anfiyanggû).]

George A. Kennedy